A sweet tale of a mutual passion and an unlikely friendship.

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MARGARASH

A young boy's misguided dismissal of legend lands him in the clutches of the possessive Margarash.

"The coins that fall are for Margarash, / Leave them where they lie," goes the cautionary song, warning those looking for spare change to give their couch cushions a wide berth. Collin, a light-skinned young numismatist, looks for coins everywhere, meticulously arranges his collection, and loves flipping a “magic” silver quarter into a golden dollar. Collin scoffs at the song’s warning, but he soon regrets his folly when the furious Margarash snatches him into a lair below the couch springs and locks him in a cage made of lost pens and remote controls. Even though the monster's enormous coin collection is spectacular and Collin takes quiet pleasure in suggesting the best way to arrange it, the boy eventually longs for his family so much that he agrees to show the Margarash his secret coin-flip trick in exchange for his return. The Margarash agrees, but in an unexpected twist, the pair soon miss each other, and the contrite monster offers his hand (and coins) in friendship. Despite a few moments where the narrative seems to lose focus, Riddle's prose provides a strong momentum overall, driving page turns and inspiring Miller's whimsical, childlike illustrations, which depict the titular monster as a gray, furred creature with a comically toothy underbite.

A sweet tale of a mutual passion and an unlikely friendship. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59270-216-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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It’s slight on story, but there is an abundance of shimmery glitter. And, of course, pink.

TWINKLE THINKS PINK!

Reminiscent of another rosy-hue–loving protagonist, Twinkle can’t get enough of the color pink.

Twinkle and her friends are invited to a garden party hosted by Fairy Godmother at the royal palace. It promises beautiful roses, which are the talk of the town. Twinkle, along with fairy friends Pippa and Lulu, can’t resist sneaking a peek before the party begins. The roses are all the colors of the rainbow. It looks divine, but Pippa can’t help but muse, “What a shame there aren’t more pink ones.” That’s all the encouragement Twinkle needs. She waves her wand, and (after a few missteps) suddenly everything in the garden is pink, right down to a winged rabbit onlooker and a shocked owl. Poor Twinkle still doesn’t have a handle on spell-casting. Have they ruined the garden party for everyone? The fuel for Holabird’s impetuous heroine’s fluttering is excitement rather than common sense. But she does confess to Fairy Godmother and admit her mistake. Warburton’s intricately inked illustrations provide enough fairy magic (tiny fruit houses with even tinier doors, a poodle with gossamer wings) to have readers poring over the details. The fairies present mostly white (other friends are shown on the endpapers), with only black-presenting Pippa providing diversity.

It’s slight on story, but there is an abundance of shimmery glitter. And, of course, pink. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2917-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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A deterministic message detracts from the math.

TEN MAGIC BUTTERFLIES

For 10 flower friends, the grass is always greener…in the sky.

Ten Fantasia-like flowers with adorable faces and leaf arms/hands love being together and basking in the sun, but they also can’t help wanting to break free of their roots and fly when they see the fairies flitting about in the moonlight. One night, “Said the tiny blue one, / ‘Fairy up in the sky, / you see, I’m a flower, / but I want to fly.’ ” While the fairy is puzzled at the flower’s discontent, she grants its wish and transforms it into a butterfly. One by one the others join their mate in the sky as butterflies, each one’s color reflecting its flower origin. At daybreak, though, the new butterflies regret the transformation, and the understanding fairy changes them back again: “But big and tall, / or short and small, / being ourselves / is best of all!” Really? There isn’t even one flower that would really rather fly all the time? Throughout, McKellar emphasizes that there are always 10 in all, though some may be flowers and some butterflies at any given point. The endpapers reinforce ways to make 10 by showing 11 combinations, all in two rows of five, which may confuse children, rather than always keeping butterflies separate from flowers and allowing one row to be longer than the other. The bright colors, butterflies, flowers, and the fairy, who is a dark-skinned pixie with long black hair, seem calibrated to attract girly audiences.

A deterministic message detracts from the math. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-93382-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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